Employment Opportunity - Internal Risk Management Group (IRMG)

Mercy Corps Uganda

NGO / Nonprofit Charitable Organizations

uganda - Kampala full-time Closing date - 11/12/2020

Job Summary

Minimum qualification: Bachelors degree

Minimum years of experience: 5

Required languages: English

Job Description

The Internal Risk Management Group is looking for a Safeguarding Advisor, who will be responsible for increasing the capacity of INGOs and NGOS in Uganda to improve their safeguarding practices- including prevention and management of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse within NGOs and in the communities we serve linked to our interventions.  The ideal candidate will have a background in working on safeguarding initiatives within the NGO sector, and demonstrated experience in capacity building for NGO staff members / networks.    Upon appointment, the Safeguarding Advisor shall undergo specific Safeguarding training with Mercy Corps.


Note: This role is being recruited by Mercy Corps, but the role supports Internal Risk Management Group of NGOs in Uganda and will report to IRMG Steering Committee.  


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.  We help people overcome poverty and conflict. Working with communities, we leverage local logic to help people transform their lives. To grow more food, earn higher incomes and ultimately advocate for their needs. We see global challenges as an invitation to pioneer innovative, sustainable solutions. During our 34-year history, our work has improved more than 170 million lives in more than 115 countries around the world.


IRMG Background

In line with global trends, international non-government organizations in Uganda are increasingly identifying fraud, corruption, safeguarding lapses and code of conduct breaches, including sexual exploitation and abuse, as growing risks to the aid sector’s ability to deliver accountable and high impact programs. As well as undermining program effectiveness, these issues also have the even more serious potential to compromise the safety and protection of program participants or staff and erode the trust of the populations being served by aid agencies and the sector as a whole. Thus, in the interests of accountability and safeguarding, the management and mitigation of these risks must be taken seriously.

In order to address these challenges, fifty one INGOs based in Uganda have taken the initiative to form an Internal Risk Management Group (IRMG) – attended only by country directors. The members of the IRMG envisage the creation of a safe space to discuss misconduct and risk issues, raise awareness of risks with the entire INGO community, and share information and experience, including best practice in detecting misconduct and handling allegations. Organizations will support and learn from each other, share information and generally increase the risk management capacity and accountability of the humanitarian and development sector in Uganda.   In 2019, membership was extended to national NGOs, and the aim is to integrate an additional 10 NGOs into the IRMG in 2020.  After an initial year of funding from DFID, the IRMG is in the process of securing funding from Sida for phase 2.


The IRMG will be facilitated by a full time project manager, hosted by Mercy Corps.  The position reports on a regular basis to the chair of the IRMG Steering Committee, and day to day management of the project manager is assumed by Mercy Corps.  A Safeguarding Advisor will also be recruited, reporting into the Project Manager,   

The goal of the IRMG  to increase the safety of NGO program beneficiaries and improve the overall impact, accountability and effectiveness of NGO programs in Uganda.   The specific objective is to mitigate the risks of fraud, corruption and sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse or breaches of organizational codes of conduct by INGO staff and partners including  local partner organizations, sub awardees, vendors, contractors and volunteers.  This will be done by three interrelated outcomes:

Outcome 1: (continuation of Y1 project) Improve organizational culture concerning dealing with fraud and corruption, through implementing the recommendations from year one assessment of best practices and gaps on fraud and corruption prevention, detection and management. 

Outcome 2: Improve the safeguarding practices of INGOs and reduce the risks of SHEA and child abuse in NGO programs.

Outcome 3:   Leverage lessons learned and knowledge of the IRMG to benefit the wider civil society sector in Uganda to improve on managing wrongful conduct, including safeguarding practices and the prevention of fraud and corruption.


Overall Responsibility

The IRMG Safeguarding Advisor will provide leadership and management of activities related to increasing the capacity of INGOs and NGOS in Uganda to improve their safeguarding practices- including prevention and management of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse within NGOs and in the communities we serve linked to our interventions.    Safeguarding advisor to make sure all activities related to improvements in safeguarding for INGO and NGO members are completed on time, on scope and on budget, with strong monitoring of all activities to ensure the project is on track to meet its objectives.  The Safeguarding Advisor will work closely with a technical consultant to set the strategic direction of the project and deliver quality deliverables. 

Essential Job Responsibilities


Technical Leadership on Activities to support IRMG members to improve Safeguarding Practices

  • Work closely with the technical safeguarding consultant to complete the Benchmark review on management of safeguarding (SHEA and prevention of child abuse) in the Ugandan context
  • Work closely with the technical safeguarding consultant to carry out an assessment of specific internal risk management concerns for local NGOs to supplement the already existing assessment for INGOs, and adaptation of guidelines based on these.
  • Work closely with the technical safeguarding consultant to contextualize the Global Inter-Agency Safeguarding and SHEA prevention and response guidelines for Uganda
  • Work closely with the technical safeguarding consultant to Review of the UN Inter-Agency Prevention of SEA Action Plan  and the review of UNHCR’s Refugee Feedback, Referral and Resolution Mechanism (FRRM)
  • Coordinate dissemination of assessment of safeguarding practices and guidance among IRMG members in Uganda
  • Facilitate awareness raising sessions and training to increase INGO capacity to prevent, mitigate and respond to risks. This will include working with training providers to adapt/develop curriculum taking into account the needs and priorities of INGOs of varying sizes.  This will prioritise topics coming as priorities in the benchmarking, and may also include co-investigator training for safeguarding incidents.
  • Facilitate awareness raising sessions and training to increase local NGO capacity to prevent, mitigate and respond to risks. This will include working with training providers to adapt/develop curriculum taking into account the needs and priorities of INGOs of varying sizes.
  • Ongoing advisory support by IRMG Safeguarding Adviser to IRMG member NGOs on how to set up strong and effective safeguarding systems based on self-audit benchmarking process and best practices and agencies own technical advisory services on this topic;
  • Support advocacy by the group to a wide range of donors and UN agencies; .
  • Support INGOs to establish a community of practice of safeguarding focal points within the different agencies, to focus on knowledge exchange and capacity building, as well as being a mechanism by which the IRMG safeguarding advisor can check in on progress as a group against the uptake of best safeguarding practices as outlined in the benchmark review and self-audits (taking care to be aligned with each agency’s own technical advisory services and priorities), and identifying and addressing challenges that are being faced by safeguarding focal points within agencies
  • Other activities as agreed by the IRMG Steering Committee and in line with project scope, budget and timeframe.


Partnership Management/ External Representation

  • Work closely with the IRMG project manager, Chair and Co-Chair of the IRMG Steering Committee to coordinate and prepare for communication related to safeguarding between the IRMG and donors, the Ugandan Government and other stakeholders
  • Active engagement with the UNHCR led Steering Committee on Refugee Feedback, Referral and Resolution Mechanism (FRRM) and the common system that UNHCR plans to pilot in a number of settlements.
  • Coordinate information dissemination and advocacy workshops with targeted messaging to various stakeholders
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring positive recognition to Mercy Corps.


Support Safeguarding within Mercy Corps

  • Champion Safeguarding policies and accompanying policy guidance support materials and assist in promoting prevention of sexual misconduct, sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) - and provide support as required to MC Safeguarding focal points and safeguarding trained co-investigators.
  • Support safeguarding focal points and CARM officer to ensure programs and operations are integrating Safeguarding measures, including carrying out third party training, and support on developing policies and reporting mechanisms
  • Act as a resource to senior management as they work to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations under Mercy Corps’ and donor’s safeguarding policies and response mechanisms


Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL)

  • Coordinate data gathering and management as required to ensure activities related to Safeguarding awareness raising are captured in the programs MEL systems.
  • Use data from monitoring to inform decision making on the program to maximise effectiveness and impact.
  • As part of Mercy Corps’ agency-wide Organizational Learning Initiative, all team members are responsible for spending 5% of their work time in formal and/or non-formal professional learning activities. Project Manager is responsible for ensuring that other staff are able to engage in this organizational learning and career development opportunities.



Accountability to Beneficiaries: Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Ethics and Integrity

All Mercy Corps staff are expected to behave ethically and demonstrate highest integrity in their professional and personal life. Mercy Corps has zero tolerance to any form of fraud, corruption, abuse, harassment or exploitation. Any breach of our policies or misconduct will lead to disciplinary action or may lead to termination.


Supervisory Responsibility: 


Directly Supervises: N/A

Works closely with:  IRMG Steering Committee Members,Safeguarding Technical Consultant, IRMG member agencies, MC Safeguarding focal points, CARM Officer and Safeguarding Co-investigators,  and the MEL, Finance, Operations, HR and Internal Risk Management Departments at Mercy Corps.


Reports to:   IRMG Project Manager


Qualifications, Knowledge and experience

The position will be open to national and international candidates with strong skills and a proven track record at a senior level in risk management or a related field. 

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field is required (this could include law, social work, conflict resolution, international relations, development studies, international humanitarian law, peace and security or other) and an advanced degree is a plus.
  • 5 years+ related work experience with a not-for-profit organization implementing international programs.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and interest in Safeguarding, and a sensitivity to cultural diversity, equity, inclusion and gender issues (essential)
  • Experienced in delivering training or mobilising capacity building initiatives with professionals in the NGO sector
  • Proven project management experience is as advantage
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of local community and culture
  • History of exhibiting impartial and empathetic behavior in the workplace
  • Demonstrated experience working directly with local communities
  • Demonstrated experience working directly with institutional donors on safeguarding issues
  • Thorough understanding of aid accountability, codes of conduct, and principles around protection and safeguarding.
  • Ability to work with various administrative and program levels in the organization;
  • Strong organizational and research skills with  a broad understanding of various program sectors and activities;
  • Extensive knowledge of compliance and safeguarding donor rules, regulations including USAID, ECHO, DFID, UN, etc is an advantage.
  • Skilled in collecting, synthesizing and analyzing and disseminating information.



  • A strong leader and team player, with good communication, negotiation and diplomatic skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, diplomacy, tact and ability to achieve results collaboratively with individuals not under supervisory control. 
  • Demonstrate exemplary professional standard of ethics as well as the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps’ internal policies and procedures and external regulations
  • Individual should be approachable, discreet and confidential.
  • Excellent analytical and information management skills.
  • Good organizational skills and ability to work under stress
  • Flexible and creative in planning and problem solving.
  • Attention to detail, ability to follow procedures and meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Proven excellence maintaining professional internal and external relationships.
  • A focus on building staff capacity
  • Understanding and strong belief in the importance of safeguarding


Living/Environmental Conditions

The IRMG Safeguarding Advisor will be based in Kampala with travel field locations in Uganda. Kampala provides a secure living environment. The location is secure with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Staff have access to medical, electricity, water, etc.


Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

How to Apply

Please send your CV and cover letter with 3 work related referees to the e-mail below. Ap-plications may not exceed 2MBs. Email: application@ppg.co.ug While we thank all applicants for their interest, only those selected for interviews will be contacted. Any form of lobbying will lead to automatic disqualification.

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